Mountain Man Case Study

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Mountain Man Brewing Company was established as a family concern in 1925 in West Virginia by Guntar Prangle. The company brewed single-product beer, Mountain Man Lager, which won “best beer in West Virginia” and was elected as “America’s Championship Lager”. Mountain Man Lager featured quality, bitter favor and slightly higher-than-average alcohol content that uniquely contributed to the company’s brand equity. Mountain Man was a local market leader and distributed its lager in several states outside West Virginia. By 2005 Mountain Man was generating over $50 million in revenue with over 520,000 barrels of Mountain Man Lager sold. However, Mountain Man had been facing serious challenges. Its revenue was encountering a 2% yearly decrease in 2005 as it faced fierce competition. Light beer was sweeping the beer market and gained 50.4% of volume sales in market share in 2005. Thus, the objective of Mountain Man in this case study is to increase sales revenue by moving into the light beer market. Chris Prangel, son of the company’s owner, hoped to achieve three goals in his marketing campaign: 1.) To produce a light beer in the hope of attracting younger drinkers to the brand; 2.) To sustain the core brand equity of Mountain Man Lager; 3.) To maintain a steady share of its market segment by regaining the 2% annual loss. Mountain Man’s revenue was declining as it faced new products, which threatened to steal its customer base. However, Mountain Man met difficulties to make changes alongside a changing market. The light beer market was growing steadily, and younger drinkers preferred light beer to other categories. Further, the key customer segment for beer companies was younger drinkers, as most industry observers believed. However, the core customers of Mountain Man, featuring blue collar, middle-to-lower income men over age 45, preferred and got used to the taste of Mountain Man lager, and many of whom considered that yuppies consumed light beer. In fact, a...
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